HRSC Grass Corner #1
March 1st 2019

By Matt Baines

Welcome to the debut of the Grass Corner.  The place to find information and updates about the Hampton Roads Soccer Complex from those that help make it tick- the grounds crew.  We hope to spread knowledge to anyone who may be curious about the ins and outs at HRSC.

We are still in our winter offseason, when all grass fields are closed from December through February.  Even though it appears that nothing is going on, it’s just as an important part of the year as any other.  Our bermuda grass looks dead at this time of year, but it is not.  Instead, it is dormant and for this reason, it is important to stay off the grass fields until they are reopened.  The fields being dormant means they are not able to repair themselves and are unable to absorb water completely.  Bermuda grass will wake up from dormancy in late March when the soil temperature is in the mid-50s Fahrenheit.  On January 31, 2019- the soil temperature was 32°F.  The fields will never be in good condition to play on later in the season if they are open during the winter.  

Total rainfall for 2018 accumulated to 52.03 inches.  December is usually one of our drier months, with an average of 1.5 inches of rain during the past two years.  However, this past December brought 5.31 inches and because of this and with the grass being dormant, fields have stayed wet longer than usual.   Think of the fields as a sponge.  If a field gives the impression of being dry on the surface, it does not necessarily mean that it is ready to play on.   Like a sponge when squeezed, water trapped under the surface will still cause damage to fields when played on.  Updates on field openings and closures can be found by visiting our website or by calling our hotline.

We are excited about the completion of some projects over this winter.  An addition to the breakroom in our main shop was finished in January.  It includes a new sink with hot water and more cabinet space; and the new paint job is a welcoming sight.  A new Sand Soccer building was also completed in February.  The new Sand Soccer building will help make more room in our main shop for equipment and tools and keep sand soccer equipment safe and secure from of the elements of Mother Nature.   After an impressive run of 15 years, repairs have been made to the Bruce Baines memorial bridge that crosses the ditch near field 6 to field 13.  Everyone should keep an eye out for new bushes that will soon be planted in the front entrance with a fresh coat of mulch.

With the upcoming season beginning shortly, it is important for everyone to take a look at the rules at HRSC.  One of the major problems we face at the complex is when teams and parents leave behind their trash.  Picking up after yourself not only helps the grounds crew but it also helps keep the complex clean and professional.  Teams should also remember to not move goals or benches from and fields.  If it is not yours, leave it alone.  For a full list of rules and regulations, please visit the website and read the signs around the complex.